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Dear Miss Information,
I'm having a hard time getting over my ex. I'm thirty-four and American, and he's twenty-eight and French. We met in Paris and had an amazing night together — a great connection and great sex. I didn't expect anything would come of it, but he started texting and calling me the next morning, and we didn't stop talking for three months. We had a very intense emotional connection; in the beginning, he "courted" me aggressively and asked for a commitment, even though he was in Paris and I was in New York. We were far apart, but I'd never felt so close to anyone before.
After two months, he moved back to Tokyo, where he'd been living for three years. Then things started to fall apart. He would call me crying; being back in Tokyo reminded him of his previous relationship, in which he was engaged. I tried to remain supportive, even though it was tough to comfort him long-distance about another woman.
I was supposed to visit him in Tokyo for Christmas and he started acting weird. He said he felt lost and didn't know if he wanted to see me. Then he wanted to see me, then he didn't again. His position changed every few days. He concluded that he loved me, but that we needed to be rational. We cried together realizing that it wouldn't work. I told him that I really loved him and that I would need time to get over him.
Well, I only lasted one week before we started talking again. This went on for six months. As time went on, we started to drift apart and fight constantly. Now he won't even return my calls.
I know I need to move on, and my friends just think it was a fling. They don't understand why I'm so upset. I really loved him, even though we only saw each other in person once. Is that crazy?
— FrancoAmerican Inner Conflict
Long-distance relationships are tricky. They always leave blank spaces which we fill in with our own hopes and dreams. You're mourning a very real relationship; there is one fewer person in your life than there was a month ago. But you do need to recognize that the ratio of "real" to "imagined" in any long-distance relationship is always hard to pinpoint.
As with so many things in life, you knew the answer. You just fought with yourself over implementing it. You recognized that you wanted different things, so you broke the relationship off. But, because staying in contact was more comfortable than enforcing distance, you got pulled back toward each other, with painful results. That's a common chain of events.
So, now, the challenge is to stick to your guns. You're broken up for good. Allow yourself to feel sad without adding a layer of guilt about whether your feelings are "crazy." If it's real enough to hurt, it's real. That being said, once you've acknowledged that you miss him, work on filling that space with tangible things. Recommit to your life in New York, and spend time with your physically present friends. Like any relationship, this one will take work to get over. But the wounds will heal.